Weatherproofing Your Wooden Window Frames

October 27, 2023
window with snow outside

Wood windows are a beautiful addition to any Michigan home, offering a classic aesthetic on the exterior and a warm, inviting ambiance on the interior. However, while they are excellent at insulating and limiting noise intrusion from outside, wood windows are vulnerable to harsh weather. Maintenance is essential to keep your wooden window frames functional and attractive for years to come.

One effective weatherproofing method is to caulk the exterior and seal the frame. These steps enhance the longevity and performance of your windows while boosting energy efficiency. Learn the steps involved in caulking windows and other weatherproofing tips to help your wood windows face the elements.

Why is Sealing the Window Frame Important?

Before diving into the process, consider the importance of caulking and sealing your wood windows. Caulking acts as a barrier, preventing moisture, drafts, and pests from entering your home. Properly sealing exterior windows creates an airtight seal that significantly reduces energy loss. This way, your home stays warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer, translating to lower energy bills.

Selecting the Right Caulk

Using water-resistant, flexible, and durable window caulk is crucial for long-lasting results. The product should adhere well to wood, glass, and metal present in the window frame and siding. Silicone-based caulk is often recommended for caulking exterior windows due to its longevity, weather resistance, and effectiveness in sealing gaps.

Preparing the Window Frames

Before you begin, clean the window frames thoroughly to remove dirt, dust, and old caulk. This provides a clean surface for the new caulk to stick to. A retractable razor blade or putty knife is useful for scraping away crumbling caulk. Finish the job by wiping the surface with a clean cloth and rubbing alcohol.

Applying the Caulk

Caulking windows requires a steady hand and a bit of patience. Cut the tip of the caulk tube at a 45-degree angle, ensuring the opening is not too large. Then, using a caulk gun, apply a continuous bead of caulk along the seams where the window frame meets the exterior siding. Smooth out the caulk with a caulk smoothing tool or your dampened fingertip, creating a seamless and professional finish.

Other Wood Window Weatherproofing Measures

Besides caulking, you can take several other measures to weatherproof your wooden window frames:

  • Install weatherstripping to seal moveable joints and prevent drafts.
  • Inspect your windows for rot and repair any damage you find.
  • Apply a protective finish to the wood to guard against moisture and UV damage.
  • Re-glaze old window panes to seal gaps and improve the window’s insulating properties.
  • Install storm windows for an extra layer of insulation.

Weatherproofing your wooden window frames is a smart move to maintain their beauty and ensure your home’s energy efficiency. At Mans Lumber & Home, we have over 100 years of experience providing exceptional products and services. Our continuous training and education ensure we’re always at the forefront of what’s new. For advice on selecting premium mouldings or weatherproofing your wood windows, please contact us at (734) 714-5800 or visit one of our locations in Canton, Trenton, Birmingham, or Ann Arbor, MI.